“I grew up singing Scottish songs. I grew up praying Scottish prayers,” Claudio Carvalhaes said, taking to the podium in full Scottish regalia. While his Big Tent audience reacted with laughter, he called himself “a Brazilian cucuracha” who means to challenge poor, marginalized and Christians of color to prove that “justice, freedom and love could actually live together” in a transformed Presbyteian Church (U.S.A).
“I was ordained in 1969,” recalled renowned, author, theologian and educator Will Willimon, “and the next day the United Methodist Church’s membership decreased.” The line prompted laughter from those assembled at an Aug. 2 luncheon, part of the bi-annual Big Tent event sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation. Willimon’s address was titled “The Current State of ‘Mainline’ Churches in the Context of American Culture.”
A tough and timely question drew an audience of concerned Christian educators, teaching elders, ruling elders, parents, and others Friday (Aug. 2) to Anne Wilson’s eponymous Big Tent workshop: “Will our children have faith?”
“God in this place, stir us, agitate us, make us uncomfortable.” Dylan Rooke, Ruling Elder and building manager from Hot Metal Bridge in Pittsburgh prayed to open a jointly sponsored Big Tent on Friday afternoon (Aug. 2). “Then comfort us.”
Jobs generated through “God’s gift of wealth creation” are the most effective way for people in developing countries to escape poverty, according to an author and community development expert.
Washington police arrested a 58-year-old woman after two chapels in the Washington National Cathedral were defaced with green paint Monday (July 29) afternoon.
A Friday-morning anti-racism workshop at Big Tent turned into a Presbyterian-style meet-and-greet, then turned out to be a powerful anti-racism exercise.
On the second day of keynote speaker Bob Lupton’s time with World Mission at Big Tent, attendees were invited to ask questions. The first question at the luncheon got right to the point: “Isn’t this (talking about misguided mission practices) discouraging mission involvement?” Lupton responded with a question: “I ask the question, ‘Is bad, hurtful service better than no service at all?’”
Former General Assembly Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow remembers the way it was at the church where he was founding pastor, Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco: most people didn’t join the church until they were being ordained as a ruling elder.
“There was some import to it, not ‘Whose turn is it this time?’” Reyes-Chow said Aug. 2 during the National Elders Conference workshop “Young Adult Ruling Elders: Serving as Congregation Leaders” at Big Tent.
Thinking the faith involves more than just the brain, Ronald Peters, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta told a luncheon crowd at the Theology, Worship, and Education Conference at Big Tent here.